We caught up with the Mumbai Supporter’s Club who recently celebrated their first anniversary as an official branch.
Hello there, how have things been going for MUSC Mumbai as an Official Manchester United Supporters Club, since we last spoke to you?
Things have never been better. We just completed a year as an Official Manchester United Supporters’ Club and we honestly have no clue where that time has gone. We have been humbled by the response we have got since turning official. Our numbers keep growing every screening and a lot more people are becoming regulars and adding to the matchday atmosphere. The working team here is doing all we can to just better that experience each day by offering more to the members and the positive response keeps us going.
So far, former Manchester United players Dwight Yorke and Mikael Silvestre have visited MUSC Mumbai, how were those visits?
Growing up in a “One sport country”, we never thought we’d be able to see these footballing greats in person, let alone exclusively. It was an overwhelming experience to have a talk with these United greats and get some insight into the Manchester United world as a player. Also, the opportunity to get a picture with Sir Alex Ferguson’s last Premier league trophy is something not very many people can boast of and we are grateful to have got such an opportunity. Hopefully, next year it’ll be with LVG’s first!
Are you hoping to get more Manchester United player visits in the future?
Most definitely. As we mentioned, it is a truly great experience to have an opportunity to meet players we grew up watching and emulating. The legendary Peter Schmeichel is traveling to Mumbai in December for the Premeier League Live event and we most certainly are doing our best to be able to get him to our pub for a tete-a-tete with our members. And maybe a few beers too!
You have regular MUSC Mumbai meetings and screenings of Live Manchester United matches in The Three Wise Monkeys Pub. Can you let us know how Manchester United fans in India and United fans visiting Mumbai can attend these?
We are always reachable on all our social media – Facebook.com/MUFCmumbai, Twitter: @ManUtdMumbai and even Instagram: MUSC_Mumbai!
We are constantly updating all these forums with our screening details and are happy to respond with any sort of queries that people have. Everyone is welcome to be part of the madness that goes down at the screenings.
What have you made of Manchester United this season, with all the changes under new manager Louis van Gaal and his new players?
It is definitely a step forward. With Moyes, there was a lot of uncertainty with the lack of experience at a big club. But with the CV that a man like van Gaal has, we are quite positive we will get back to our winning ways. The players to are vocal about the positive impact he is having on the team and are appreciating his valuable insights and prowess of the game. The signings as well have already started showing some signs of adjusting to life at Manchester United. People like Di Maria and Falcao are a massive addition to any team in the world. Shaw, Herrera and Rojo have also been quite promising so far and are much needed additions to the squad. Although, to be honest, a lot of us are really keen on seeing the youth develop under LVG. A lot of James Wilson chants were being sung at our last screening!
Can you tell us a bit more about the new Indian Super League season there?
It was only a matter of time before someone realised the massive demand for football in India and we have got that recognition with the ISL. Sponsors realise the potential and there are finally investments being made in football. The response so far has been quite good for the first season, with never seen before attendances in cities like Kochi, Delhi and even Mumbai. It is already said to be the 5th highest most attended football league in the world. The fact that you guys have asked us this question shows that the world is waking up to football in India. The likes of Del Piero, Silvestre, Ljunberg, Pires etc. playing in the league is a great learning for the Indian players. Hopefully this will lead to their skilful development and that our national team will eventually be recognised in world football!
Also how have former United players Mikael Silvestre and Bojan Djordjic been playing so far?
They thumped our home city 3-0 in our ground last night and beat us 5 -1 when we went to Chennai so we aren’t feeling a lot of love there. But they’re definitely doing amazing for themselves! They’re top of the table and look like the favorites to win the league. Inevitable when you have the United blood in you, we guess. (They also have a certain Djemba Djemba in their team now)
Former Manchester United youngster Ashley Westwood has done well coaching in India and also some TV work. Can you tell us about his work there?
Westwood took the I-League by storm right from the start, comfortably winning the title in Bengaluru FC’s very first season as a club! The team owners too have faith in him and have invested a lot in the team and players. It’s great to see these reds do well here and hope many more follow suit, bringing their prowess to our football hungry country.
Man Utd Mumbai recently made a trip over to Manchester for our match against Everton. They were also pictured in the United Review. How was the trip? Any more trips planned in the future?
We have a lot of our members travel for the games often, but it was great to have so many go in together. It was an overwhelming experience to say the least and we’re already trying to see when we can make the next trip!
We have a couple of people planning for the Manchester United Vs Arsenal game this season.
Thank you for talking to us, we wish Man Utd Mumbai the very best for the future.
Thank you guys, loads of love and luck from Mumbai 🙂